I want to expand briefly on an idea from my last essay—the idea that science is the new occult. At one time, those we might now call occultists were those who were trying to explore the mysteries of nature. They wanted to discover that which was “hidden” (i.e. occult). For many of them, things like non-corporeal intelligences and super-terrestrial planes were not “supernatural”, but accepted explanations for natural processes. Those folks really wanted to know how things worked, and they did the best they could with the knowledge and technology they had on hand.
What used to be “occultists” are now called “scientists”. The essential shift happened with the humanistic discovery that gods and spirits are not necessary to explain the workings of the world. Similarly, the examination of humans moved away from souls and towards biology, sociology, and psychology. And as the scientific method improved, it was discovered that the universe was a vastly more complex and amazing place than any occultist could have predicted. And as science started peering into the very large, the very distant, and the very small, humans were truly exploring hidden domains utterly beyond the reach of normal modes of perception.